Tuesday 30 September 2008

€65m stadium plan hits NRA roadblock

A NEW 10,000-seater soccer stadium plan has been branded "premature" by the National Roads Authority (NRA) because the motorway junction beside it is expected to be the starting point of a huge new ring road.

Earlier this year, Meath County Council agreed to contravene its development plan so permission could be granted for the €65m Drogheda United stadium, leisure centre, retail units and a motorway service station. The 25-hectare site is on the southside of Drogheda within the Co Meath boundary. It is on the Drogheda to Duleek road and beside the Duleek road junction with the M1.

An Bord Pleanala is not expected to make a decision until later this year.

The NRA appeal is the only one against permission and its submission says the proposed €2bn Dublin Outer Orbital Road linking Drogheda to Naas "is likely to begin at the M1/R152 Duleek road junction".

The route is a key objective of the regional planning guidelines for the greater Dublin area and the planning application "is premature pending determination of this route", argues the NRA.


The NRA says the junction would have to be upgraded to support the traffic flow described in the application. Because the junction is part of the motorway public private partnership (PPP) contract, it "will be much more difficult complex and expensive" to upgrade.

Meanwhile, Councillor Tommy Byrne (FF) called on Drogheda borough council to "write to the NRA and ask them to withdraw their objection".

Mr Byrne did not get the support of his fellow councillors but they did agree to put their support for planning permission in writing. At Drogheda United's current ground, United Park, planning permission was secured for 110 residential units, but that too is under appeal.

Elaine Keogh
Irish Independent


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